When it comes to providing an effective communications solution, K-12 schools face a number of hurdles. Reliability, safety and ease-of-use all come into play when schools evaluate their options. Cost, too, is a concern since school budgets are often tight and spending requires district and taxpayer approval.
And let’s not forget about the parents; after all, they have strong opinions on what a school communications system should deliver too. A recent Trends in Community Engagement Report found that parents want communication to be convenient (think push notifications), relevant (relaying only important information) and delivered through their preferred channel (spoiler alert: email is the most popular, but social media is rising).
As schools look to replace or upgrade communications systems that are unreliable and costly to maintain and repair, districts are exploring both cloud and on-site deployment options. Both approaches have their advantages, but many schools prefer a future-ready on-site solution so they can exercise more control, while preserving the flexibility to add modern features and functionality. Plus, if and when the time comes, migrating to the cloud in stages is just a few steps away.
Real-world examples of how two school districts received straight As from faculty, parents and taxpayers with successful on-site deployments demonstrate how the right communications solution delivers stronger academics and a more secure learning environment.
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On-site deployment is a well-rounded solution for Beaverton School District
The phone system in the Beaverton, Ore., School District was in dire need of replacement after 20 years of wear and tear. Parts were hard to find, and reliability and quality were long gone. An on-site deployment of a unified communications solution included the installation of more than 5,000 phones, an Emergency Notification System (ENS) and a mobile app.
The results speak for themselves:
A lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) pleases district stakeholders and taxpayers.
The mobile app allows administrators and faculty to access messages remotely and provides the added benefit of office numbers displayed on mobile devices.
The ENS and E-911 features provide immediate notifications to parents and faculty of any emergency and facilitate the immediate response of trained personnel. They can also be integrated with a door-lock system for quick lockdown in an emergency.
Integration of voicemail with email gives teachers easy access to retrieve messages at home, improving productivity and parent-teacher communication. Integration with existing collaboration applications and Learning Management Systems extends the classroom beyond the physical school building.
A stable and reliable on-site communications system is always available, reducing concerns over outages and downtime.
Extra help is no longer needed in the Pomperaug Regional School District
For some time, the seven schools in Connecticut’s Pomperaug Regional School District suffered from a phone system plagued by poor voice quality. After six months of troubleshooting to no avail, officials decided to implement a new on-site deployment. The headache they’d had for half a year was resolved in just one week.
Multi-site support delivers a quality unified communications system across all schools.
An end-to-end on-site phone and unified communications solution from a single provider is easy to manage and use.
Reliability removes the previous problems of shoddy connections.
Quick and easy deployment fits the tight schedule of K-12 schools that typically need to deploy during the short summer months.
K-12 schools need to juggle demands of faculty, parents and taxpayers, all while meeting their students’ communications needs. On-site deployment allows them to retain more control over the system and leverage existing infrastructure, while still providing the modern-day requirements of safety, productivity and collaboration. A system that’s easy to use, yet powerful and flexible, allows K-12 schools to provide a communications platform that is as well-rounded as their curriculum.